Amazon has already completely changed the way people shop, but another seismic shift could soon be on the way.
The online giant has opened its first supermarket in Seattle called Amazon Go. The amazing thing about it – there are no tills or even self-service checkouts.
All you do when you go into the store is swipe the Amazon Go app on your phone in a similar to way to how you get through the turnstiles going on a train or the Tube.
Cameras in the ceiling and walls can identify you as you go around the store, and charge the items you take with you to your credit or debit card as you leave the store.
If you buy alcohol there will still be ID checks, but you can pretty much walk around the store without having to talk to another human being.
It will save people a huge amount of time queuing at tills and self-service checkouts to pay for items, and the benefits to the supermarket are obviously massive as fewer staff are required. If shoppers spend less time in a supermarket, they are also more likely to return.
It’s almost a physical version of the way Amazon has revolutionised shopping in general. Rather than go out and buy your item, you can order it in the comfort of your own home (often cheaper than when you’re out and about) and it will be delivered in a very quick timeframe.
However, you have to wonder about the number of jobs this would actually have an impact on if it was rolled out and copied by other supermarkets.
The effect of buying online is arguably having a detrimental effect on the high street with fewer people going to independent stores and buying from them. You wonder if this could have a similar effect on supermarkets and how many people are employed in them..
It’s up to Amazon’s competitors to step up and try offer something unique because Amazon really is at the forefront of innovation with ideas like this.